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How I reload for handguns

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by TEXAS, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. TEXAS

    TEXAS Member

    How I reload for handguns.

    I load for volume, speed, and savings. My handgun ammo is loaded on a Dillon 550 or a SDB.

    As I do not load my ammo to the top edge of sanity so I do not weigh anything but to check as I set up or if I have any doubts about what is happening.

    Brass gets used untill it splits. If I am going on a big hunt or shoot I may grab new brass (I keep plenty on hand) for the trip then throw it in will all others as it gets used.

    Triming, weighing, sorting, ect. has not helped in the tests I have done. I do a visual inspection of the bullets as I cast/size/load them and look at the brass as I load it. The finished ammo is looked over as I bucket/box/bag it.

    I cronograph when testing to help learn the pressure range the powder wants with the bullet/brass/primer combo I am using.

    I have never used a load that if I increased the powder charge by a grain or two it would put me in danger of blowing a gun. When testing I will up the powder charge a grain or more at at time.

    I have found that my 500 Linebaugh will shoot bullets from 400 grains to 468 grains with the same powder charge of 2400 verry well. A 454 will do the same with bullets from 260 grains to 325 grains, and a 44 will with 240's to 320's.

    I use CCI 350 primers for almost every thing as I buy them 20K at a time.

    I use HS-6, 2400, and H-110 for almost every thing with 2400 used WAY more than anything else.

    With 2400 the case on most handgun ammo is near or over 1/2 full. A under, over, or double carge is easy to see. I have a mirror mounted on my Dillon's so I can see each powder charge as I place the bullet in the case.

    I test loads sitting with my hands between my knees at 25, 100, and 300 yards. Some loads that shoot well up close will not shoot good at long range, but all of the loads that have shot well at long range also shoot good up close.

    I do alot of testing, with good record keeping. Shooting 1,558 rounds of 500 Linebaugh to find "my" load. The better loads were shot hundreds of times to learn how they shot and how I liked them.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2009
  2. ranger335v

    ranger335v Well-Known Member

    Okay. ??
  3. floydster

    floydster Well-Known Member

    Hummm, and to think I just reload for the enjoyment, I must be missing something.
  4. hydraulicman

    hydraulicman Well-Known Member

    big bore revolver on a dillon 550B

    Pics would be good

    do you lube your brass before you load?
  5. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Well-Known Member

    I don't have that one but it's a good write-up Tex.
  6. Lj1941

    Lj1941 Well-Known Member

    If you buy 20K primers at a time,how do you buy powder? My guess would be by the truckload!
  7. billybob44

    billybob44 Well-Known Member


    :neener:The point is??:what::what:
  8. 357mag357

    357mag357 Well-Known Member

    I use CCI 350 primers for almost every thing as I buy them 20K at a time.

    Everything is bigger in Texas.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2009

    MMCSRET Well-Known Member

    My question is: How do you get a CCI350 in the small primer pocket on the 454 case?
    I've never had a 454 case with a large primer requirement, I've always used small rifle magnum primers.
    Where do you get the 454 brass with the large pockets, I'd like to experiment with some.
  10. Crowbar Muldoon

    Crowbar Muldoon Well-Known Member

    Ya'll don't mind Texas, he's a good neighbor and a good shot....he's just been on the range a bit too much lately. :)

    The mirror mounted to the press is a cool little trick. Might have to try that.
  11. TEXAS

    TEXAS Member

    Some of yall are missing the point. I am not trying to brag, just wanting to start a disscution on how different people reload and what there thoughs are. Some are corse loaders like me and others are very piticulare as in weighing each carge, increasing power charge by 1/2 grain or even 1/10 grain at a time, starting low and working up with a mid range load, ect. Also I just might learn something.

    floydster - I enjoy reloading too. It's that I just can't leave well enough alone.

    hadrulaicman - 454's and 44's are easy on a Dillon 550, the 500 Linebaugh took a few press mods and Dillon helped me get the mix and match conversion parts (50AE powder drop/expander, 348 Win shell holder and locater buttons, ect) I lube my brass with homemade spray lube. I will get pic's for you.

    Lj1941 - I get 48 pounds of powder in 8 pound jugs along with 20K primes and it works out they run out at about the same time. I get them delivered without hasmat fees and the last shipment was $1028 if I remember correctly.

    MMSCRET - Early 454 brass used large primers and they can be found it you look for them but it's not worth the trouble. FA switched to small primers to have stronger brass and has steel inserts to convert large primer pockets to small. Oh yea don't forget the "almost" in my post. The CCI-350's are used in 10MM, 44Mag, 44Spl, 45ACP, 45Colt, and 500 Linebaugh.

    MMCSRET Well-Known Member

    Yes; I knew about the early 454 large primers, in fact I have seen a very early 454 case that was two 45 Colt cases brazed together and the head turned off one, same way Elgin Gates started with what later became the 357 Maximum. Dick Casull and the Baker family were developing the 454 in the same time period as Elgin Gates was working on his and they were only about 50 miles apart as the crow flies.
  13. sniper1259

    sniper1259 Active Member

    YO TEXAS!; just a little note from one of the re-loaders in Tennessee that caught that bit about being a "coarse" loader. this info might just help a little.

    all kidding aside; please be careful when checking your powder loads and this might help all of us to stay out of the local surgeons office. its all about pressure and its physics. the US Mint uses pressure to help make coins the instantaneous pressures obtained in their presses can "pressure liquefy" the metal enough to allow it to flow into a coin die and make a very nice coin!
    we as loaders DO NOT want to go there!!! the difference between a handgun and a hand grenade is the amount of powder in it. this is common sense and you don't want to push the envelope here.

    we use pressure to push a bullet but we use it in a very controlled way
    to avoid too high pressures, you can tell if things are wrong if you just check the primers. i did a drawing with notes for this and please print it or email it to whoever you think can use it. it shows what to look for in the spent primers after you de-cap one. (get a magnifying glass if you need one) just look at it. it takes a 25 ton vertical press to make those little cups and they punch them out one at a time. goes to show you how much pressure is involved there and in the average gun. a .30-06 can use pressures up to 60,000 psi. thats 30 tons per square inch!! the .50BMG is even higher!!

    but handguns are NOT hand CANNONS. everyone on these threads and postings is a human and can make a mistake. the primer pressure test is based on physics that cannot change. it will read correctly for you always, but it is up to you to be critical of your loading methods and your ego. if you cannot check them at the door before you load, then you don't need to be doing it at all. please use this to help keep your head in one peice


    Attached Files:

  14. billybob44

    billybob44 Well-Known Member

    Esp. the BullShi!
  15. 1SOW

    1SOW Well-Known Member

    Sounds like the OP is happy with his set-up and methods. I guess that's what we all want.

    Some of us Texans shoot 9mm and only have a Lee turret press. And like the OP says, we nitpick every new load by tenth's of a grain, tweak it for accuracy and a power factor of 130ish. 9mm pretty much demands attention to smaller details.

    Can't shoot CCI spp in my 'tweaked' 9mm. They're too hard.

    While I don't trim my 9mm brass, I do sort brass because with my little press I can 'feel' a BIG change in pull force with some brass. I like a nice steady pace with predictable results mostly within +/- .001" oal. Maybe it's me, but loading a 124 9mm in a Win case and follow with an FC case the OAL is always off by more than double my preferences. With ALL FC cases I can set up to be consistent.

    Chrono-FOR SURE
    Oh yeah, I really enjoy shooting shiny brass--but that's just me.

    Finally, I enjoy the process of developing a new load--a lot.

    Otherwise, we mostly practice the same procedures to get our output.

    Yours works for you. Mine works for me. We both get what we 'pay' for: the enjoyment of shooting our loads in our guns of choice.
    I hope we get to keep this 'right'!

    EVERYTHING IS bigger in Texas, but maybe the bull.... is just 'better'. ;)
  16. TEXAS

    TEXAS Member

    sniper1259 - Rest assured that I set my powder measures carefully, but I do not worry about a 10th or 2 of a grain of powder. I load in batches of a few hundred and would adjust to small changes in the performance of my ammo but have not needed to. I have never used a load that a couple of grains + - would blow a primer much less blow a gun. Except in 2 rifles that shot better and better the harder I ran them. They were loaded to the limit I felt was safe.

    Reading the primer is a indicator of pressure but it is not as reliable as case head expansion. Bolt thrust can greatly affect the appearance of fired primers and can be changed by a clean or dirty chamber or brass, a oily or dry chamber or brass, and finish on the chamber or roughness of each piece of brass.

    I don't know how you re-loaders in Tennessee do your stuff but we get along just fine.
  17. TEXAS

    TEXAS Member

    billybob44 from Indiana - you think 20K primers is BS? Sorry for the fuzzy pic's I used a phone camra.

    Over 30K primers.

    Over 80 Pounds of powder on the front row.

    A good 9K of brass.

    About 9K bullets.

    About 9K more bullets.
  18. Crowbar Muldoon

    Crowbar Muldoon Well-Known Member

    And as you can see, the reloading benches are bigger in Texas, too.
  19. floydster

    floydster Well-Known Member

    Tex, just be careful man!:)
  20. shooter1

    shooter1 Well-Known Member

    Guess I'd have to consider myself a "Coarse" loader. I load pretty handgun ammo pretty much like Texas. At slightly less volume, of course. Hell, I thought I was buying in bulk when I bought 16# of powder and 15k primers!
    Here's one back at ya, Texas:
    I load 9mm 125gr LTC, .40 S&W 170 LSWC, and .45 ACP 200gr LSWC using the same powder charge for all three. Both the 9mm and the .40 make minor and major power factors respectively. I don't go anywhere near max loads as they serve no purpose for my use. All chronograph in the expected range and show no pressure signs in any of the pistols I run them in. I'm not suggesting this practice to anyone, it just one less step in caliber changes for me. I do fuss a little with rifle loads.----lol

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